By Melissa Krchnak
I’ve had a few friends over the last couple weeks who have pledged to stay off social media for a day or longer. While I applaud their restraint, I’m not sure I understand the motivation behind this extreme social media diet. For me, Facebook and Twitter simply fill in the gaps of a day rather than being a thief of my valuable time.
In all fairness, I will admit that I’m completely in love with Instagram and that it’s my go-to whenever I’m in need of a quick social media fix. But despite my penchant for grainy filters and pictures of my friends’ latest meals, I’m not at the point of needing a social media intervention because it hasn’t cut into my productivity at work. This isn’t the case for my friends though; I often see them struggling to get anything done because they’re too busy perusing posts or else creating status updates of their own. For these addicts, breaking up with social media—however temporary the split—is a necessity and the practice becomes a zero-sum game: Either stay off all social media sites completely, or else get nothing accomplished during the workday.
Are you your biggest hindrance? If so, it might be time for you to take a breather. I’m not saying you should abandon social media altogether; it’s still an important way to target potential clients in your market and increase awareness of your personal brand. What I’m advocating for instead is to give yourself the required space away from the “like” button to re-think your social media strategy. Instead of seeing social media as a hindrance, focus on getting more purposeful with the content you share so that you can view it as a benefit. Especially if social media is one of the major ways you connect with clients, make sure all information coming from your accounts is useful and interesting. By making social media more of a mindful business practice and less of a productivity inhibitor, you won’t be wasting time on the sites because really, you’ll be working.
So I ask: Is it time for you to have a social media intervention and change your ways?
By Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz
It seems there’s a new hyped technology in real estate every week. Old favorites include Facebook, Craigslist, Twitter, Blogging, YouTube, and LinkedIn. But what about those sites that were so popular so fast and now we never hear about them anymore? Remember Posterous, Postlets, and now Pinterest? Real estate agents tend to kill technology quickly.
With so much to do every day to keep your business going, the biggest of which is lead generation, do you really have time to learn every new platform that suddenly emerges? Probably not. Should you? Probably not. As an agent who built my business on technology, I have a few suggestions for those of you who feel like you’re drowning in new technology and don’t know where to start, or where to find the time:
1. Figure out what works with your schedule: You can’t be the master of all trades, but you can master just a few. Some things take more of a commitment to make it work, ex. Twitter and Facebook are daily commitments for most. Other platforms may just an as-needed thing, like Postlets for advertising listings or Craigslist (if you don’t use Craigslist for lead generation).
2. Don’t waste time learning every new technology. I haven’t spent a single minute on Pinterest. I see Facebook friends posting wedding ideas or baby shower themes on there — don’t kill this by inundating useless real estate information on it. Don’t force a round peg in a square hole just because someone told you to.
3. Learn something so you’re comfortable with it, then use it as part of your lead generation. Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
Make a New Year’s resolution to better manage your name and online reputation. The first step is to figure out which social media platforms work best for you and your business. Check out my video to learn more.
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Collegeville, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.
By Brooke Wolford
Social media is a great thing for our business. We are connecting to more consumers than ever. It’s all fine and dandy. However, is what you portray online the real you?
Recently, I attended a #tweetup. There were a lot of social media “experts.” Nowadays, who isn’t an expert? Many of the people in attendance I had connected with in Twitter and felt as if I really knew them.
The first person I had the pleasure of meeting was Teresa Boardman. I had been connected to her for a couple of years but had never met her in person. The first thing she told me is, “You look exactly like you do in your avatar.” I felt confused and glad at the same time. I said, “That’s a good thing, right?”
This made me think of issue #1 in your social media. Don’t have a fake, glamourshots-style photo of yourself. While we all want to look good and our best, people should be able to recognize you in person. It’s generally a bad idea to have pictures that only show half of your face or give the impression that you are some supermodel.
When I first signed up for Twitter, I had an avatar of myself wearing big sunglasses that I called my “pimp” picture. Luckily, Greg Sax gave me gave me advice telling me to change my picture. I was glad I took his advice and changed my picture. More People started to recognize me more in public.
Another thing I noticed at this #tweetup, was that many people acted very different. Some seemed very shy. Some seemed like a completely different person that what I had originally thought. I was very outgoing and made an attempt to talk to everyone in the room. Many in attendance hardly moved around even though most of us were connected in some social platform. I didn’t get it. Continue reading »
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
Being a REALTOR® for a little more than four years now, I have a good understanding of how to approach my business today. I think it is safe to say that when I got into the business, “cold calling” was pretty much being phased out. With the emergence of federal and state Do Not Call laws, it was becoming very difficult to effectively prospect potential clients over the phone. On the flip side, I feel that these laws have made us resort to more genuine, personal ways of prospecting.
I have found that my most effective prospecting strategy is to simply put yourself in your potential client’s shoes. Would you give the time of day to sit on the phone and listen to what some REALTOR® who you have never met has to say? Especially when they call around dinner time…who enjoys that? I personally would not speak to any telemarketer trying to sell their product/service over the phone, so I am not a big fan of cold calling.
Social media today has really evolved the way we prospect and do business overall. Blogging, tweeting, and sharing your posts with Facebook friends, are easy ways to get your message out to an unlimited number of prospects. Who knows which one of your friends will share your post, exposing it to all of their friends, and on and on… Facebook is also an easy way of gathering an e-mail list of potential clients, if they do not choose to hide their contact information.
So get out there — knock on doors, attend local events, and meet new people! Life is too short to be shy.
By Drew Burks
Are You Distracted?
In today’s world most of us are overwhelmed with information, new products, and services, most of which provide little more than distraction to the average person.
As a REALTOR®, it is definitely easy to get caught up in the hype of the latest technologies; after all, most of them are very appealing with the promises of making our lives easier and more profitable. Last week I attended the CAR Tech Tuesday event in Anaheim, Calif. and while there I had many great conversations with REALTORS®, but one really stood out in my mind …
“How does one cut through all of the noise that we are bombarded with to get to the dollar-producing activities?”
CAR added a fun twist to the event this year, they had a “meet the speakers” during a “speed networking” session. This was by far the best part of the day for me. Those of us who spoke at the event got the chance to do 4-minute sessions with approx 25-30 groups of approximately 30 people. The common questions asked by the REALTOR® attendees in these different groups were things like: Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
I often wonder about how a lot of people handle the relationships they make using social media. Yes, it’s great to tweet, comment, or share, but what are you doing to build an actual relationship?
I often see others posting superficial things that they don’t have a passion for and they really have no knowledge to discuss. Isn’t it true that social media is about the conversation and not just merely posting something?
I am always concerned about my privacy, and yes, there are things I chose not to share. At the same time, it’s important to let people see who you really are. I cannot be fake, no matter how hard I could possibly try. “I am who I am.”
I look back at some of the longest relationships I have had on social networking sites. I know so much about them and when I meet them IRL, I know that there will be a comfortable conversation. We will have things to laugh about. Continue reading »
By Jeremy Williams
In a series I am teaching on social media to a group of agents at the Keller Williams Realty NE office in Kingwood, Texas, I have emphasized that social media should just be one of many components in an agents tool kit for lead generation. With all the new social media sites online, it can be overwhelming and it is easy to slip into the mindset of “I must be on all social media sites.” Are you experiencing these feelings? Are you spending more time on social media sites than with people? Have you become an addict?
Here is a 12 step program for REALTORS® to remedy your situation:
1. We admit we are powerless over Facebook, Twitter, Linked, WordPress and YouTube – that our lives have become unmanageable after staying up until 2 in the morning to monitor status updates.
2. Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, including lead generating using more archaic methods such as dialing a phone number or shaking a real, “not virtual,” hand.
3. Made a decision to turn off our computers thus stop sharing our personal photos of us in bathing suits at the lake and return to sharing our experiences in person. Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
Let me start with this: I don’t work and am not receiving any money for this post – unless Google offers it. And to be honest, I have labored against the “mighty one” for years. But here we sit in 2010 and my mind has started to wonder about where the “G” will take the world next.
There have been hushed whispers – and some not so hushed – about Google’s plans and how they are going to impact the real estate market.
The world-wide mega-mart one-stop super MLS? Huh? What? Sorry, I wasn’t going there.
The evolution of social media is in the location-based technologies. Foursquare is supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread in 2010. Then why is it that when I’m sitting in Columbus, Ohio, there are only a handful of updates coming through my stream? Ahh, they’re on Yelp right? Hmm … no.
So where are they doing their location based searches. That’s right. Google Maps.
On June 21, I created a Google Map for my DelawareOH365.com travel site for all that happens in Delaware County. As I write this early in the morning on July 17, that single Google Map has recorded more than 8,000 map views. And I’m the only one posting information – and sporadically, I’ll admit – to the site. What if I opened this up to all residents – or fans – of Delaware County to share their favorite points throughout the county? Continue reading »